You’ve made the decision to have a DJ. Now comes the difficult part. With so many DJs out there, how do you choose the right one?

The good news is you have a number of resources at your disposal. Most of you will have family and friends who have hired a DJ for an event. So, you can reach out to them for suggestions. Yet if you and your partner are making this decision mostly alone, there are some things to consider when researching DJs.

Specifically, there are seven key areas or criteria you should consider when making this decision. Given the important role a DJ can play at your special event, you really do need to consider each one.

1.) Experience:

There’s just no substitute for experience. When it comes to selecting a DJ, it makes so much sense in so many ways. With experience comes knowledge of music and what works with certain crowds. For example, the Electric Slide might get a crowd of Baby Boomers on the dance floor but may empty a crowd mostly made up of Gen Z’s and Millennials.

An experienced DJ will be current with the music and providing the entertainment that’s appealing to specific age groups, as well as the standards that typically appeal to all. The experienced DJ has previous gigs in the back of his or her mind where certain songs ignited the crowd, while others not so much.

The experienced DJ has fine-tuned their process after years of trial and error. So, when an issue occurs, they know what to do so the show goes on. Many times, it’s without anyone in the crowd even noticing there was a problem.

2.) Equipment:

DJs invest in top-of-the-line equipment. So, the music sounds better. More importantly, the better the equipment, the more dependable it is. So, technical issues are less likely to occur.

Perhaps most importantly, the more experienced DJs have more knowledge about equipment and the intricacies of what sounds good and what does not. Seasoned DJs obsess about details such as dispersion—the direction the sound radiates from a speaker. Less experienced DJs might not even know the term.

3.) Trained as a MC or Host:

The professional DJ is so much more than the person playing music for your event. He or she is the Master of Ceremonies AKA the MC/host. It’s the DJ’s job to make announcements to keep things moving forward and informing guests what’s about to happen. Inexperienced DJs might want to try their best Michael Buffer impersonation or try out their own rap. An experienced DJ knows it’s their job to speak clearly, slowly and pay attention to annunciation, so they are understandable.

The more experienced DJ also has the “been there, done that” factor. He or she has dealt with any number of event scenarios and can roll with the punches should there be a glitch (e.g., member of the bridal party is not in the reception area) or technical issue.

4.) Have a Backup Mindset:

Let’s face it, few things work 100 percent of the time. That’s why professional DJs carry backup speakers, equipment, laptops, cables, etc. as part of their normal gig preparation. Same goes for microphones. While most DJs use wireless microphones, it’s the experienced DJ who also keeps a corded microphone with them as well should interference come in. You never know what can happen. Asking your DJ about their backup equipment and plans is an important part of the screening process.

5.) High Quality and Organized Music:

It might be a generalization, but an experienced, professional DJ will have an extensive music library containing a multitude of genres. Also, as a matter of necessity, most DJs develop an organization system for fast retrieval. So, when the guests or the wedding couple wants to make a specific request, the more experienced DJ will have a song within seconds as opposed to minutes.

Now to expand their music libraries, some DJs will actually extract songs off YouTube. This kind of download is of a poor quality, something that gets amplified when played on a speaker. The more experienced DJs subscribe to DJ “record pools,” which offer the highest quality, best sounding songs.

6.) Liability Insurance:

Most DJs carry some kind of liability insurance in case something happens during the course of an event. In addition, many venues now require that DJ’s and vendors carry insurance. Our company is paired up with “A+ rated” insurance company. When interviewing DJs for your event, be sure to ask the question.

7.) Can Provide Videos or Photos:

Most DJs of any standing will have a website with videos of them performing at events. It’s pretty standard fare. The more experienced DJs will offer promotional videos that highlight their abilities to get people up and dancing, how they interact, and more. Most will also have clips or lists of mixes on their website. Review them all.

As stated, there is no substitute for experience. Particularly when you have a once-in-a-lifetime event like a wedding.

Please check out our mixes, reviews, services and about us. If you like what you hear and see, give us a call for a complimentary meeting to discuss your special event.